Manchester Parklife is the UK’s largest urban festival, showcasing a diverse range of music genres such as hip hop, grime, rock, club, house, dance, and even pop. It boasts an impressive lineup with artists like Mark Ronson, Wu-Tang Clan, The Chemical Brothers, Snoop Dogg, Liam Gallagher, and George Ezra, making it incredibly musically eclectic.
Parklife is the festival to watch if you prefer urban edge in your festivals.
When and where?
The festival takes place in Manchester’s Heaton Park in June. Tickets usually go on sale in February but it’s well worth signing up for presale access beforehand as tickets often sell out within the first 48 hours.
Manchester boasts an excellent public transportation system, making it easy to reach Heaton Park. However, keep in mind that due to the large number of festival-goers, it’s advisable to allocate ample time for your journey. Numerous bus routes operate in the area, and Heaton Park is conveniently accessible via Metrolink Trams as well.
Consider checking out the festival’s travel pass system, which offers convenient day or weekend passes available for purchase online. These passes provide transportation to and from Heaton Park.
If you’re driving, there is a designated car park for the official event, but parking fees are applicable. It might be more cost-effective to pre-book your parking space in advance. Prices and information can vary annually, so it’s advisable to contact the organizers beforehand to confirm.
Navigate the Northern Quarter
Since Parklife is a day festival, you’ll have some free time outside of the festival atmosphere. Besides its rich musical heritage, Manchester offers a plethora of unique cultural attractions, fantastic dining options, and numerous venues to unwind with a refreshing pint after the festival.
With so much going on, it can be tricky to work out exactly how to master Manchester in just one day so if you’ve only got a few hours to spend in the city, then you might want to head straight for the Northern Quarter. This effortlessly fashionable and bohemian neighborhood will certainly help you hang on to those laid-back festival vibes and is a great place to head to if you only have a limited amount of time in the city:
A proper pint
For a genuine pint experience, skip the plastic cups and head to Port Street Beer House in Manchester. This pub is renowned for its top-notch selection of seasonal craft beers and real ales. With a friendly atmosphere, it’s the perfect spot to savor your drink.
For an authentic English Breakfast experience, visit the Koffee Pot. It skillfully combines trendy hipster vibes with traditional greasy spoon dishes, making it the ideal way to kickstart your day at a festival!
History and culture
There’s plenty to see in Manchester if you’re looking to expand your mind in a non-festival way! If you fancy pursuing the greatest collection of association football memorabilia in the world then the Northern Quarter’s football museum is a must-visit.
The Manchester Craft & Design Centre, located in the vibrant Northern Quarter, is home to over 30 artists, designers, and craft makers. It offers a tranquil retreat and serves as a perfect place to recharge and refocus after enjoying lively festival days.
The Northern Quarter’s cobbled streets boast charming vintage boutiques and retro music stores. Among them, Picadilly Records stands out as a top-notch independent record shop in the UK. With an extensive selection of vinyl and CDs, the store’s welcoming staff will assist you in uncovering emerging local talent.
What to wear
Parklife embraces a crop top and shorts ensemble rather than a breezy boho chic look. Expect an abundance of rave-inspired attire, with vibrant neon hues and accessories in abundance. And remember, being in Manchester, don’t leave behind your bucket hat!
When preparing for a day festival, finding the right balance is key. You want to avoid being unprepared, but carrying a heavy bag can spoil your experience. Opt for a backpack that puts less strain on your shoulders and allows you to freely wave glow sticks in the air. Coordinate with your group to distribute the items and lighten the load.
Before heading out, it’s important to check the weather forecast since British summertime weather can be as unpredictable as the Parklife line-up. Don’t forget to pack a plastic poncho, as it’s practically a festival essential. If rain is expected, toss in an extra pair of socks. Additionally, always bring sunscreen and a hat for sun protection.
Bringing a lightweight mat or towel to sit on is highly recommended, as securing a seat at a festival can be challenging. Additionally, remember to pack plasters and paracetamol.
Don’t forget your essential documents such as tickets, passes, and a valid ID. It’s also wise to print a map and schedule ahead of time. In case you have this information on your phone, remember to bring a portable charger.
Where to stay
In Manchester, there is a wide range of accommodation options available. You can choose from popular chain hotels to smaller bed and breakfasts. However, it’s important to plan ahead as places tend to get booked up quickly during the festival period. While Airbnb properties are plentiful in the city, some hosts may increase their prices during the festival, so be mindful of that. Youth hostels are also worth considering, especially for large groups, as they can offer cost-effective accommodations.
Consider staying in surrounding towns or villages near Manchester if you’re having trouble finding accommodation. The city boasts an excellent transport system, allowing you to conveniently travel into the city for the festival.
Parklife offers more than just the main stage and music tents. It features chill-out zones, street entertainers, and art installations. Although outside food and drink are not allowed, the festival provides a wide range of culinary treats from mac and cheese to Sri Lankan Street food. Additionally, there are numerous vegan and vegetarian options to choose from.
Parklife is the epitome of coolness in terms of music. Add to that the fact that you’re in one of the most trendy and inviting cities in the UK. It’s time to bring out that bucket hat!